Vegetable juicing helps me consume more vegetables.

I am making changes to my diet. I am increasing my intake of vegetables and fruit while I am reducing the quantity of heavy starches, wheat and fatty food. Don't get me wrong: I still love my fatty foods like steak and chips drowned in sauce, burgers and a super-sized serving of slap chips. I am trying to eat less of these foods and more of the healthy options.

 I am more interested in the raw food diets than I ever was, although I must confess I am not ready for such an extreme switch. I like the idea of reaching a balance of 80% healthy foods and allowing myself a 20% margin to eat junk foods. That is the long view so I want no raised eyebrows when you see me tucking into a massive steak encircled by those freshly-fried, "eat-me-now" hot chips!

Starting with home-made vegetable smoothies

Making vegetable smoothies is a wonderful way to include more raw or unprocessed foods into our diets. Christo and I are the chief advocates for 'going green'. Before our 'green' food revolution, our Smoothie  machine only surfaced during summer for those delicious creamy yoghurt-based or indulgent fruity smoothies.   Now, the blender perches permanently on the kitchen counter, at the ready when the  Veggie Smoothie-junkies need their raw vegetable drink.

The majority of the family members are still not convinced they need to consume vegetable pulp. They decline politely when we offer them a taste of 'dense nutritious' vitamins in a glass. Basil will stock the vegetable rack with carrots, spinach and beetroot but he has yet to request a veggie smoothie. For now stirfried, steamed or roasted vegetables are still his favourites.  Brett often looks bemused at the activated blender while he prepares his mountain of sandwiches and Sasha is beginning to show more interest in a demure way. I pretended not to see that she drank a mouthful of the carrot juice the other day.

Since we are new to vegetable juicing, we largely stick to juicing carrots.

Carrot Smoothies

Making carrot smoothies is ridiculously inexpensive.You can buy a huge bag of carrots for under R20.  You merely need one or two large sized carrots, add some water, blend and there you have a nutritious drink! You can determine the consistency by controlling the amount of water you add. I often prefer the thicker consistency which I eat like a meal. I will add a few almonds or a few goji berries to this mashed carrots and munch away.  Christo prefers to make carrot juice that he can drink.

Carrot smoothies are tasty and sweet. If you want a fruity carrot smoothie, you can add some cut fruit like banana and apple. Ginger and carrot taste divine too. Experiment by adding different fruits, nuts and ginger.

Spinach smoothies

I am trying to include more green vegetables like spinach into my diet. I love steamed spinach, but my taste buds do not like raw spinach. I am trying to coax my palate into loving the green taste of a raw spinach smoothie, but it is going to require some patience.

Making a spinach smoothie is just as easy.  

Shredded spinach that can fill a dinner plate and some water will provide you with a green drink that is good for you.  Thus far, I have only made two spinach smoothies. Perhaps I should stick to the steamed variety without the white sauce.

We may have to invest in a more durable blender that can take the pressure of daily juicing.  Thus far, we are having fun and I am proud to say, I am eating more vegetables this way.

I would like to hear your views on juicing and the smoothie blender model you recommend.


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